Reading: John 7-8
Summary: It is interesting to see in John’s Gospel the conversation that goes on among the multitudes in trying to figure out what to make of Jesus. There is no consensus opinion. This gives us insight into the mistaken paths of thinking that people can pursue that will ultimately lead to wrong conclusions. We should be duly warned.
Here also is the account of Jesus dealing with the woman taken in adultery followed by some of Jesus’ best-known words about being the light of the world as well as the importance of truth. Finally, we see one of the very strongest explicit affirmations of Jesus’ deity to come from His own lips.
It just does not seem possible that Jesus’ own brothers would not believe in Him (John 7:5). How could someone with such intimate knowledge fail to come to faith? Could it be that closeness might actually hamper one’s capacity for objective perception?
Think about the failure of the Jewish people to come to faith. Was it not from these people that one would really expect a great outpouring of faith? After all, these are the people with whom and through whom God had been at work for generations with the goal and purpose to bring Jesus into the world. These were also the people to whom God had given Scripture and sent prophets to predict and prophecy and prepare them for His arrival. These also the ones to whom God sent a special messenger to specifically ready them for the Messiah’s appearance. Still, they rejected Him.
It appears that the closer one is the greater the challenge for an objective and appropriate response. Instead of succumbing to the temptation to be critical of those who failed despite their great advantage with Jesus, some self-examination should be in order. We should be asking ourselves about those relationships and areas of responsibility where we are very close and our knowledge is intimate. Has our closeness actually become a hindrance? What about with our spouse or children? What about in our work or career? What about our friendships and other relationships? What about in our church family? Might some input from an outsider be helpful? Have I been rejecting the suggestions and recommendations of others because they “just don’t know”? Might it be time to at least give them a hearing?
Don’t allow the beauty and advantage of closeness to become a detriment, especially when it comes to Christ.